The Spectrum of Optimism and Pessimism - Deepstash
The Spectrum of Optimism and Pessimism

The Spectrum of Optimism and Pessimism


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The Spectrum of Optimism and Pessimism

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The range of optimists

  • On the one end of the spectrum, you find the pure optimist. He is confident everything is great, and all negativity is a character flaw.
  • Next to him, the extreme optimist accepts that bad things sometimes happen to other people.
  • Then comes the optimist who can be sceptical of other people's optimism.
  • After him, you find the optimist who is confident in himself and equally pessimistic about others.


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  • The single-issue optimist/pessimist views everyone's future as being hopeless because of a handful of things that stand in the way.
  • Next to the half-optimist are people who are pessimistic with their words but optimistic with their actions.
  • In the middle, we have the reasonable optimist who acknowledges that life is full of setbacks but who remain confident because they know setbacks are a small part of the bigger picture.
  • The possibilist knows progress is likely but sees it as playing the odds.


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  • The closet pessimists view historical progress as coincidence but think low growth or stagnation is more likely.
  • Next are the sceptics. They agree that progress is likely, but question the validity of the data or if something is missing.
  • Then we get to the first tier of true pessimists. They know things will improve, but they doubt they'll be part of it.
  • Next comes the pessimist who sees progress as only benefiting small groups of people.
  • A level down is those who quietly hope for decline (to benefit their investments.)


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  • The real gloomy pessimists think evidence of past progress is misleading, incomplete or manipulated. Life is as hard as it has been in the past and will stay that way.
  • The cynics view anyone promoting progress as being secretly motivated by power and greed.
  • The pure pessimist is the extreme. He thinks everything is bad and will always be bad. He views positivity as a character flaw.


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